By Sarah WylieThe world’s most famous mango trees have grown at a faster rate in the southern Mongolian steppe than predicted, new research shows.
The rapid growth of the tree, which has a reputation for being one of the fastest growing trees on earth, has caused concern among conservationists and forest experts who fear it will slow the recovery of the region’s largest mountain range.
The new study, which examined more than 800 years of satellite data, found that the tree’s rapid growth was more like that of a forest than the tree of the same size in the northern part of the Mongolian highlands, the eastern Mongolian Plateau, and the southern part of China.
It also found that tree growth had slowed down over the last decade in a number of regions in the region.
But the rapid growth has caused alarm among some conservationists, who worry that it will only encourage the growth of more destructive species that will make the forest less biologically diverse.
Forest officials in the northwestern region, which includes parts of Mongolia and China, said they were unaware of the findings.
They said they had seen similar patterns of slow tree growth in the areas where it was most abundant, like in the forests of central Mongolia and parts of China, where there are many different kinds of trees.
The study was published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers from the Mongolological Research Institute (MRI) in Yerevan, Mongolia, and from China’s Agricultural University of Agriculture in Beijing also contributed to the research.